Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Laura Beasley, Sam Middleton and Matt Routledge from
 Solihull School help donate books for a small library
at a rural school in Kenya 
 Solihull School students saw their classroom studies come vividly to life when they jetted off to Kenya to strengthen their links with a secondary school.

Twelve Upper Sixth Psychology students ran a workshop on debating at Hillcrest International School in Nairobi before taking part in a debate against the school.

Robert Blakey, who is set to read Psychology at Oxford, put forward a motion that children over six should be given the vote, which was narrowly defeated by Hillcrest.

The school visit was part of a 12-day educational tour organised by Daniele Harford, who taught at Hillcrest before joining Solihull School as Head of Psychology, aimed at providing a first-hand understanding of Kenyan culture.

Earlier the party of boys and girls donated books, papers and pens, a football strip and clothes and toys to a rural school in Kenya where up to four pupils share one exercise book yet still match or exceed UK reading and skills standards.

The party also visited a Maasai village to discover why people prefer the lifestyle to living and working in Nairobi, and a coastal fort in Mombasa where they took part in a discussion about the concept of Colonialisation of the Mind by Ngugi Wa'thiongo.

The trip included visits to wildlife sanctuaries and marine parks, and there were opportunities to enjoy tribal dancing and music as well as take part in white water rafting, kayaking and abseiling at adventure camps.

Daniele Harford said: “Everything about the trip went brilliantly. Some pupils came back saying it was the best experience of their lives and that it had challenged their views of Africa especially in terms of what we can learn from the Continent.”

She added: “We hope to continue building links with Hillcrest School and will definitely be running the trip again next year. One former Hillcrest student has already spoken to our Upper Sixth psychologists about feminism in an African context.”

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